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Singles Bar: February 2008

We've listed singles/EPs/demos in order of star rating. Best first.

ASA Fire On The Mountain (Dramatico)

With releases on Dramatico Records (the home of Katie Melua) you know you're in for a melodic and soulful groove.

And Fire On The Mountain is no exception. Asa skilfully blends her African, roots with pop, R&B, world, funk and reggae to deliver a veritable smorgasbord. If her forthcoming debut album lives up the quality of this lovely song, then it could be one of the gems of the year. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

NFD When The Sun Dies (Jungle)

Gothic thrash from the former members of Fields Of The Nephilim, this single is a good showcase for their forthcoming album. On the strength of this, if you like it hard, heavy, dark but not doomy, you'll love this.

The 8 minute Extreme Beat Mix is a bit much for anyone other than the ardent fan though. ****

Review by Joe Geesin

CROWNING GLORY Faith To Glory (Rise Above Records)

UK metal band who sound uncannily like Iron Maiden at times especially on 'Sands Of Time' in the guitar riffs and the vocals on the live version of 'Dead Man's Paradise' hit Dickinson approved siren wails. The latter song is also released as a 7" vinyl and download. This is in your face, no frills metal and played very well indeed. One for all Maiden fans out there and forget posing metal bands like the dreary Trivium this is real metal! ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

CROWNING GLORY Dead Man's Paradise (Rise Above Records)

With the 'Metal As Fuck' gig coming up, Crowning Glory prove their worth, with this single taken from the EP Path To Glory, also worth checking out.

Influences of Maiden, Priest, Helloween, but with a near extreme, tight and polished sound. Full aural assault, not really a singles kind of sound, but good extreme metal and I hope it gets them the attention they deserve. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin


Self confessed extra saucy rock'n'roll, this band feature ex Red Light Rippers guitarist Staci T Rat, with vocals coming from Danyell. Punky female vocals and a sleazy rock'n'roll background, they sound a cross between G'n'R and Joan Jett! Obviously with some decent guitar solos and without Slash's or Axl's whine.

Hope they get a deal out of this, on this evidence they deserve one. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

MYSTERY JETS Young Love SixSevenNine

Perhaps best known for their father / son line up and quirky modern prog, Young Love is something of a change of course for Mystery Jets. With Father Henry deciding to stand down, and Blaine handing over lead vocal responsibilities on this occasion to Will Reese Laura Marling, the band have taken a more melodic pop direction, which could well bring them wider commercial success. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley

JOSH WELLER Pretty Girls

The debut single from London based singer-songwriter is delivered with charm and a caustic wit. With musical influences as broad as Presley and Kylie he comes up with a bittersweet acoustic ditty is both catchy and revealing - it was written about one pretty girl that clearly wouldn't give Josh a second look. And boy, did her take it to heart. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley

KILA Half Eight (KRCDS008)

Darlings of the Irish folk / trad scene, Half Eight manages to combine African rhythms with a traditional Irish melodies and instruments. Nominated for 7 years running for best in their category at the Meteor Awards, it's easy to see why. Powerful and beautifully played, it may not be everyone's glass of Guinness, but it is undeniably beautifully constructed and delivered. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley


The Hustle are a 5 piece funk rock outfit from that hotbed of rock - South Wales. A meld of American indie and British rock, they have a ballsy sound and These Days is a pretty decent powerful rock/pop song. Perfectly enjoyable and palatable, but whether they have the edge to carve themselves out of the plethora of myspace bands only time will tell. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


Irish pop rock band who are compared to the Cranberries amongst others in their past reviews. There is a hint of that band in Keltica's sound especially in the song 'Gatecrashed', a neat uptempo pop rocker.

'Bona Fide' also gets the foot tapping but the other four songs on here lack any real hook to draw you back for another listen.

They sound a bit too similar and that's a shame as the first two songs mentioned previously are very good indeed, Keltica have a few good songs but possibly not enough to get wider exposure. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

CONIL Strange Part Of The Country

Conil has a hint of Tom Waits about him, both vocally and musically. The title track has a memorable chorus and hits home after a few spins. 'Dog Meat Stew' is worthy of a listen but 'Years Between' fails to make much of an impression. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

SEVERE ZERO Weapons Upgrade

Power punk. Ummm. No doubt the boys have got a great sound - full of throbbing bass and power rhythms, but for me, the John Lydon style of vocal delivery has long since passed it's sell by. But there's enough here to suggest that with a little melodic subtlety, Severe Zero could be one hell of a rock band. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

THE ELVIS SUICIDE Surveying The Young Professionals (Cowboys In Pain Records)

More indie punk rock. It must be my age, but they all the sound the same. Instruments just about in tune, pounding rhythms and vocals reminiscent of early Pistols and Stranglers. Frankly, punk was better first time round.

NME will probably tell you The Elvis Suicide are the second coming. And maybe they are. But I just don't see it. **

Review by Pete Whalley

BLAH BLAH BLAH Death To The Indie Disco

A sentiment after my own heart. Unfortunately, although Blah Blah Blah can clearly play, what they serve up is a horrible mix of punk and disco with an unfortunate repetition of the word 'wankers'. Which combined with a liberal smattering of 'shit' means that airplay is likely to be minimal. Which to my mind is no bad thing. But then it probably passes for humour in the East End. **

Review by Pete Whalley


More myspace wannabees. The world is full of them, and Middlehill are no different to a hundred other bands in every town up and down the UK. A three-piece punk rock band from the South Coast, Middlehill are perfectly competent and a clutch of semi respectable songs, but there's nothing here to make them stand out form the crowd.

So great for your local boozer, but global domination is not on the itinerary anytime soon. **

Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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